Small Teams, Big Scores
Justin Ekstrom | Jun 14, 2019 AT 12:26 pm
(KNSI) – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were big days for the local trap-shooting teams at the Trap Shooting Championships in Alexandria.
Last year, the highest posted score from a St. Cloud area team was a 468; this year, several local teams have eclipsed that already.
Becker started things off on Tuesday by posting a 468 and Paynesville was right behind them with a 467; the teams finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Spence Evans of Paynesville notched a 97 and his teammate, Zach Schroeder added a 96.
Becker’s Bradley Bible ended with a 96 and Avery Cox scored a 95 for the Bulldogs.
Milaca ended with a 452 behind a 92 from Owen Hjort and two 91-point efforts from Logan Steffenson and Ethan Szucs.
On Wednesday, Annandale (pictured above) took second on the day with a resounding 480; Alden-Conger High School barely edged them out with a 481.
Windy conditions plagued shooters with lower scores but Jake Mader and Gavin Hartwig of the Cardinals were both able to score 98-each.
Mader won High Gun by not missing his last 90 attempts showing the consistency it took for him to shoot 299 of 300 to be crowned state champion for the regular season.
Head coach Paul Jorgenson knows the high scores come from the added work his shooters put in.
“The kids are dedicated; we have a core-group of kids that come out every week and shoot extra and are really doing it well this year.”
St. Cloud Apollo also shot on Wednesday and head coach Brian Brophy was happy they weren’t rained out like last year.
“Last year was a bit of a bummer for my kids; we had a really good team going that year and we were looking to do some damage.”
Apollo ended with a score of 420 behind some young sharp-shooting from Kaleb Trautwein (below, far left) as the freshman scored a 91.
Thursday had the most teams from the St. Cloud area compete with Sauk Rapids-Rice, St. Cloud Cathedral, Kimball and Little Falls producing some of the best scores on the day.
Sauk Rapids took fifth on the day with a 471 behind a 95 from Kaleb Kull and four 94-point rounds from Justin Scheeler, Frank White, Zach Lewis and Dylan Geiselhardt.
Storm head coach Paul Fiereck knows when competing, it’s all
up to the kids.
“When we get to this point, our job is done; we’ve done everything we can do, if they miss one, we tell them to focus on the next one.”
Cathedral took sixth with a 469 and Mike Lyon shot 75-straight but missed two in his last 25 to end with a 98; his efforts notched him a fourth-place finish on the day.
Elizabeth Nystrom added a 91 for the Crusaders and was visibly upset with herself but her family came over and immediately encouraged her by reminding her how good a 91 is.
Kimball finished 12th on the day with a 460 behind a 99 from Jack Knaus (below, far right) that earned him the best score of the day.
Head coach Rob Kuechle has a blast watching his team, especially Knaus.
“[Jack’s] been a top contender every year; we will be looking forward to watching him at state individuals.”
Novaleee Bechtold shot a 90 to take-home first in the female junior varsity category for the Cubs.
Little Falls finished with a 460 behind a 94 from Patrick Brisk and 92 from Simon Pantzke; the flyers did take sixth in junior varsity as a team.
On Friday, Sauk Centre and Monticello will attempt to keep up with some of the high scores from the area.
Monticello’s coach Tammy Baloun knows it will be tough to score as high as many schools from MN.
“It’s going to take some really good shooting; the state of Minnesota is amazing, the scores they have been putting up year after year.”
The “good shooting” continues throughout the weekend, until Tuesday when Class-9A wraps up the World’s Largest Trap-Shooting Championship in Alexandria.